On The Lookout: Investigators Tackle Tax Return Identity Fraud - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

On The Lookout: Investigators Tackle Tax Return Identity Fraud

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WICOMICO CO., Md. - Whether swiping a credit card or filing your taxes, investigators worry that your vital information can be at jeopardy at any time.

Sgt. David Owens says investigators are already fielding calls for identity theft from this year's tax returns, all while dealing with calls from last year as well.

"[Criminals will] establish a life that should be yours by putting that false information out," said Owens.

No matter the scenario, Owens says if your information is out there, criminals are phishing for it.

"It may be as simple as it taking video and account information from a bank or it could be as elaborate as stuff that's transferred via electronic wires or Internet," said Owens.

"Once  [your information is stolen], it's hard to get it back,"said Dr. Tylor Clagget.

Tax returns are just a handful of the cases. According to the Federal Trade Commission, these type of crimes nationwide make up less than half of all identity thefts.

To solve these crimes, investigators follow whatever paper trail criminals leave behind.

"We'll search warrant, we'll do whatever official process we can do to gain the knowledge we can from that electronic trail," said Owens.

How can you protect yourself? The best advice is to stay on top of your finances, locking up your social security and any vital information. Also, constantly keeping with your banking account even following your bank statement online to make sure every charge is legitimate.

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